UH Libraries News

REACH Scholar Curates Zindler Exhibit

A student-curated exhibit at University of Houston Libraries features the humanitarian legacy of memorable Houston news personality Marvin Zindler (1921 – 2007).

Undated photo of Marvin Zindler with members of Marvin's Angels

Undated photo of Marvin Zindler with members of Marvin’s Angels

Marvin’s Angels: A Beacon of Hope in Houston and Beyond was curated by Research for Aspiring Coogs in the Humanities (REACH) scholar Ryan Banda as a visual component of her immersive research project. “This has been a very rewarding experience as it helped to elevate my understanding of what it’s like to work in the archives and the necessary research that goes into curation work,” Banda said.

UH Libraries Special Collections acquired the Marvin Zindler Papers in 2021. Mentored by archivist Vince Lee, Banda discovered objects and files pertaining to Zindler’s storied career in broadcasting by exploring boxes of primary source materials in the archives.

“Prior to working with Special Collections, I had no preconceptions about Marvin Zindler,” Banda said. “I had the opportunity to not only learn about Zindler but to recognize emerging themes that I would want to research.”

One notable theme highlights Zindler’s work through Marvin’s Angels, a group of local business owners and community members who generously provided free aid and specialized services to individuals in pressing need. The efforts of the group reached a global scale. Banda chose to investigate this theme and selected primary source materials providing context and description in support of her research idea. “Archival documents allow the voices of particular individuals and organizations to be recognized within history,” said Banda.

REACH is a year-long introductory research experience for undergraduates in humanities disciplines, and is supported by the Cougar Initiative to Engage and the Office of Undergraduate Research and Major Awards (OURMA). REACH connects students to existing UH humanities projects and allows them to develop research skills through first-hand scholarly inquiry and through participation in OURMA research programming. Banda was one of the REACH participants who presented her findings at Undergraduate Research Day in April 2024.

Banda, an anthropology major, offers this advice to undergrads interested in humanities research: “Have fun with it! Learning about history through primary source materials further connects the researcher and their topic of research, making the work more personalized in a way. [Accessing] history through digital databases and from the work of others is fascinating in itself but getting to handle and utilize physical primary documents is a whole different experience. I recommend everyone give it a try.”

Marvin’s Angels is on display at MD Anderson Library floor one.

Written by Esmeralda Fisher on May 14th, 2024 and filed under Announcements, Exhibits, Student Success